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DeVries, Vikings Eye Good Things to Come with Opener

Nov. 01, 2004 11:13 AM | Author: Vikings Sports News | Updated: Nov. 01st, 2004 2:00 PM
Due to an election day scheduling conflict, the Valley City State Men's and Women's Basketball teams will play host to Trinity Bible College at 5:30 on Tuesday, November 2 at the W.E. Osmon Fieldhouse.

Jill DeVries begins her sixth season in the Vikings program looking to improve upon a season that saw her team one victory away from reaching the NAIA National Tournament for the first time in school history.

DeVries returns three starters from the 2004 campaign that saw the Vikings defeat four NAIA Top 25 rated teams and advance to the semi-finals of the DAC 10 tournament. The Vikings return 12 players from the 2003-04 roster including DAC 10 Freshman of the Year, Loni Hall. Hall (12.0 ppg / 7.2 rpg)returns as the Vikings returning scoring and rebounding leader.

The Vikings will look to senior guard Lacey Turcotte (8.0 ppg / 4.0 rpg) and junior guard Janae Larson (9.1 ppg / 83% FT pct)to score from the perimeter along with a host of young players that are all expected to contribute.

The Vikings expect the addition of junior college transfer Sarah Heringer, 5-11 forward from Lambert, MT, to bring a much needed scoring punch from the power forward position this season. Heringer averaged 12 points and eight rebounds for Bismarck State College in 2003-04.

Two-Time All DAC-10 point guard Jessica James is done so the Vikings will turn the reins over a pair of sophomore guards. Jackie O’Neill gained valuable experience having to compete against one of the conferences best every day. She averaged five points and two assists in 20 minutes per game. Molly Schultz spent most of the 2004 season nursing injuries and has established herself as a key component to the Viking backcourt.

The Lady Lions look to improve on their record this year with five players returning from last year’s 8 – 20 squad. Last season the ladies finished very strong in tournament action placing second in the NCCAA DII Regional Tournament and second in the NIAC conference tournament as well.

Returning for the Lady Lions are three time All-American and All Region, Maureen Reimiller and All Region player Rachel Fisher. Also returning are Kayla Penfield, Aimie Jorgenson, and Shantel Warneke to form the nucleus of a potentially strong team. Also expected to play a key role is junior transfer LuAnn Anderson. Reimiller and Anderson are also standouts on the Lion volleyball team.

In anticipation of the opener DeVries has these comments, "We are very excited to get to open up at home this season. We return a wealth of experience and look at our depth as one of our strengths this season."

Both the Vikings and Lady Lions ended last season with high expectations of the season to come. "This is a good opener for both teams," stated DeVries "Our parallel success at the end of last season should spring board both teams into the 2005 campaign. We need to play a game against an opponent other than ourselves."
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